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Question about block planes - MVWoodworks - 02-07-2019

I have a 60 1/2 rabbet block plane. By virtue of it being a rabbet plane, it can do something a regular block plane can't.  What I'm wondering is: Are there things a regular block plane can do that a rabbet block plan can't, or maybe just do better?

Thx, Jeff


RE: Question about block planes - Aram - 02-07-2019

(02-07-2019, 01:45 PM)MVWoodworks Wrote: I have a 60 1/2 rabbet block plane. By virtue of it being a rabbet plane, it can do something a regular block plane can't.  What I'm wondering is: Are there things a regular block plane can do that a rabbet block plan can't, or maybe just do better?

Thx, Jeff

A regular block plane is a lot less likely to leave blood on your workpiece.

Big Grin

I'm curious about this too. I've heard of people using rabbet block planes as regular block planes. I don't see why you couldn't do that. A couple possible considerations, besides blood trails:

1. Many rabbet block planes do not have adjustable mouths. You might want that feature.
2. For rabbets, you want a straight, square blade. For general use, you probably want a light curve, or at least relieved corners. So you might end up with one rabbet block plane with two blades. Maybe more, if you want to add microbevels for different cutting angles.


RE: Question about block planes - AHill - 02-07-2019

A regular block plane can fit in your pocket without much worry about making a hole in your pocket. You can find pocket-sized regular block planes, but not so much with rabbet planes, where the width of the blade needs to accommodate a "normal" rabbet width. Regular block planes also tend to be easier to hold, because you can grab the sides without risking touching the blade. Because the sides of a regular block plane are solid and usually pretty square to the sole, you can shoot with a regular block plane, but not with a rabbet plane.


RE: Question about block planes - MVWoodworks - 02-07-2019

Thanks to both of you, great information.


RE: Question about block planes - Rob Young - 02-08-2019

Can't use a rabbeting block plane on a small shooting board. Handy to have if you work small pieces.

And as mentioned above, for the 60-1/2R to work as a rabbet plane, you need a blade that has square corners and protrudes just a smidgen. Using this blade and attempting to use the plane as a regular block plane invites tracks and gouges. Multiple blades is a solution.

And if you have one of the LN 60-1/2Rs with the nickers, don't forget to retract them before doing smoothing work.

To me, the 60-1/2R has always seemed like a solution in search of a problem. I don't find it to be a great rabbet plane or a great block plane.

The 140 skew rabbet block planes attempt to deal with this by having a removable side and for the most part it does work. But this makes it a bit fiddly.

I use a rabbet plane as a rabbet plane and a block plane as a block plane. And I use a shoulder plane as a shoulder plane, they don't make very good rabbet planes. This fits well with the "more tools is better" philosophy that makes the world go around.